In the automotive and truck manufacturing industry, design and production components must meet the requirements for accuracy, quality, safety, reliability, dependability and repeatability. Any bonding method that falls short of meeting any of these requirements that is rejected.
And so, when automotive and truck manufacturers choose an adhesive to bond parts, they often opt for hot melt adhesives. Hot melt is widely used in the auto and truck manufacturing industry and provides a strong, flexible bond.
The body of a car may seem like one big piece of metal; however, the vehicle body is made up of several different panels. To attach these panels, like the doors, the manufacturers use high-performance hot melt adhesive. Using this high-temperature hot melt, the panels are attached in a safe, flexible and durable fashion, while also retaining the beauty and seamless curves of the vehicle.
The Carpet and Headliner
The carpet of the car or truck must adhere tightly to the floor of the seating areas. Arguably, it is the part of the car that takes the most beating from the users. As we get in and out of the car, our shoes push against the carpet. This is an acute problem, particularly in trucks or high-capacity cars where the cargo or people continuously push against the carpet as the car accelerates or decelerates.
To keep the carpet taut and in place, manufacturers use bulk hot melt equipment to attach the carpet to the body of the vehicle. These high-strength adhesives keep the carpet in place even with the heavy cargo and passenger movement pushing against it every day.
The headliner, which has the natural tendency to sag over time, also needs a strong adhesive to keep it in place. In regions with hotter climates, the temperature of the roof due to the hot sun beating down on it can reach very high temperatures. Hence, companies use hot melt that can withstand high temperatures.
Engine and Electronics
Hot melt adhesives are not limited to bonding plastic and low-temperature metals. The superior strength and extreme durability of these adhesives make them ideal for use in several areas of the engine, transmission, radiators and batteries.
Furthermore, APAO (Amorphous Poly-Olefin) adhesives are commonly used for insulation of wires and to coat electronic components. The typical insulation can fail under the extreme conditions faced, and the hot melt can serve as an alternative to protect wiring and electronic components.
Seating and Interior
To make it very simple, almost everything you can point at in the interior of your car or truck has, in one way or another, used a hot temperature adhesive to bond it to another part of the vehicle. Most of the components of dashboards, lamps, mirrors, sun shades and anything in the interior is attached to one component or another of the automotive or truck.
It is quite evident in car seats particularly, where hot melt bonds the seating materials together, including leather, fabric, foam and metal. Seats are also a component in the interior of the car that take abnormally higher wear and tear, so seats require a good hot melt adhesive.
The Common Types
Hot melt adhesive is used extensively in the auto manufacturing industry because of the strong bonds it creates along with the flexibility of motion it provides. Moreover, some parts of the automobile suffer from extreme temperature condition or repeated abrasive motion. In such cases, normal bonding techniques are not efficient and may corrupt the quality of the product.
Hot melt adhesives are used to attach panels together even when they have different thermal expansion properties. Hot melt creates one of the strongest and reliable bonds in automotive and truck manufacturing.
However, there is no one type of hot melt that fits all the uses. The different type of hot melt adhesives used in the automotive and truck manufacturing are:
- Amorphous-poly-alpha-olefin or APAO, which is applied for creating bonds with low-tension plastics like polyethylene
- Pressure sensitive adhesive or PSA, which is designed for bonding with higher surface tension plastics
- Polyamide, which is highly durable at high temperatures, makes it perfect for extreme conditions
- Hot Melt Polyurethane, which can also withstand high-temperature conditions and is used with sustained load bearing requirements
Adhesives have a variety of uses in vehicles, ranging from the outer shell of the vehicle to the innermost electronics. Using the right adhesive is essential to keeping your car or truck running as efficiently as possible. If you treat your vehicle properly, you will find the investment worth it as the vehicle continues to run well into its later years.